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e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service


An e-Review News Item | Nov. 18, 2009 {1105}

This series includes:

• Outreach ministry, groups keep food from going to waste
• ‘Created by God’ retreat studies human sexuality

• Resources available for World AIDS Day Dec. 1
• Youth ski packages now available
• Spring break workers needed at Mountain T.O.P.
• Confirmation retreat weekends scheduled at Lake Junaluska


Outreach ministry, groups keep food from going to waste

By Viviane Fils-Aime**

LAKE WORTH — Gleaning is a traditional way of collecting crops from farmers’ fields that have either been mechanically harvested or are not economically profitable to harvest. If the produce is not picked it is usually plowed under or left to rot. 

Christians Reaching Out to Society Inc. (C.R.O.S. Ministries) organizes individuals and groups of volunteers from churches, temples, clubs, schools and businesses to glean, or gather, the produce so it can be put to good use. The gleaned food is then given to local agencies with feeding programs for homeless, working poor or low-income individuals and families. Within 24 to 48 hours of picking, people in need are eating the fresh produce harvested through gleaning.

Gleaning is helping local food providers that are struggling to feed more and more people each day. At C.R.O.S. Ministries’ Caring Kitchen in Delray Beach, volunteers and staff work to serve wholesome and nutritious hot lunches to approximately 250 people each day. The additional produce supplied through gleaning provides fresh produce that would otherwise not be available as part of the meal due to rising food costs. Local agencies cannot afford to buy fresh produce to feed so many at the current prices.

Last season, 1,176 volunteers were able to glean 155,389 pounds of sweet corn, tomatoes and eggplants in Belle Glade, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach and Fort Pierce. This upcoming season begins in December, and if weather and crop conditions are good, gleaning can continue until May.

Gleaning as a practice to combat hunger is thousands of years old. In the Old Testament gleaning was already in place at the writing of the Pentateuch (first five books). The people most likely to be victims of hunger in the Old Testament times were widows, orphans and people travelling through the land, called Sojourners. Three references in the Old Testament are Leviticus 19:9-10 and 23:22 and Deuteronomy 24:19-22.

Individuals interested in C.R.O.S. gleaning efforts or who know a farmer the ministry could contact for gleaning opportunities are asked to contact Viviane Fils-Aime, C.R.O.S. Ministries’ gleaning coordinator, at 301 First Avenue South, Lake Worth, FL 33460; 561-233-9009, extension 107; of


‘Created by God’ retreat studies human sexuality

By Joel Pancoast**

FRUITLAND PARK — “Created by God,” a comprehensive, faith-based study of human sexuality for fifth graders and their parents or guardians, will be offered April 23-25 at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Youth Camp.

Dr. James H. Ritchie Jr., a pastor, religious educator, writer and composer who developed the study, will lead the retreat.

The study offers young people reliable information about human sexuality/anatomy, attitudes, growth and development, relationships, reproduction, responsibility, and safety, all built on a foundation of faith. It strives to create arenas of intimacy where young people feel free to ask questions and nurture communication skills between parents and preteens.

More information about Ritchie and the content of “Created by God” is available at

The cost of the retreat is $100 per person. Interested individuals may contact Joel Pancoast for program and registration information at


Resources available for World AIDS Day Dec. 1

By General Board of Global Ministries Staff

NEW YORK — United Methodists are encouraged to observe World AIDS Day Dec. 1.

World AIDS Day is a time for special programs on HIV/AIDS education and religious worship services that focus on intercessory and healing prayer, hope in God, and love and compassion in the midst of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Voluntary offerings given to “Global HIV/AIDS Program Development” (UMCOR Advance #982345) are also encouraged.

This year’s campaign continues the theme of leadership, specifically to deliver and empower. Each year, the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries provides resources for this event. Those resources, including a bulletin insert, poster and a power point presentation, are available at

Materials for World AIDS Day are also available from UNAIDS at and the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society at

More information about World AIDS Day is available at


Youth ski packages now available

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Youth groups wanting a weekend of worship, fellowship and skiing are invited to participate in Lake Junaluska, N.C., ski programs, which offer contemporary spiritual messages and Christian music. 

Youth ski packages include lodging, meals, skiing and the program. Program listings and bands performing in concert are found at the Ministries with Young People Web site at

Six weekend packages start as low as $159 per person and include skiing at Cataloochee or Wolf Ridge ski areas. Information is available at by selecting “specials and packages” and then “ski and snowboard.” Snowboarding is available, but groups should make separate arrangements with ski areas for snowboards upon arrival at the ski area.

Groups that book early will receive a free t-shirt for the entire group. Registration must be received no later than Dec. 1.


Spring break workers needed at Mountain T.O.P.

By Samantha Tashman**

ALTAMONT, Tenn. — Groups wanting to make a difference in the lives of people living in the mountains of Tennessee are invited to participate in the Mountain T.O.P. (Tennessee Outreach Project) Spring Breakout Program.

Mountain T.O.P. is an interdenominational service project dedicated to rural home repair in the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee.

Youth groups, college ministries or adult groups looking for a service project during the spring months can choose to participate any date between mid-February and mid-April. Groups will work two days on major home repair projects (roofing, remodeling and interior/exterior work) and two days on renovations at the camp. No previous experience is necessary.

Groups are asked to arrive Sunday night and leave Friday morning. The cost is $200 per person, including all meals included. For additional fees, campers can explore local caves, hike area trails and/or work through the low ropes challenge course.

Available dates are listed at
More information is available by contacting Samantha Tashman at or 931-692-3999.


Confirmation retreat weekends scheduled at Lake Junaluska

By Southeastern Jurisdiction Staff

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The new 2010 Confirmation Weekends are now open for registration.

The theme for the weekends is “I Promise,” and they focus on five key words: prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. The weekends will feature bands, speakers and workshop tracks, including SELAH, a time of reflection where youth leaders and confirmands can discuss how they will apply the teaching received in their unique communities. Mini workshops focus on drama, worship, fitness and diversity.

Participants can choose from four different confirmation weekends or two mega weekends. Each mega weekend gives a broader experience to groups of at least 600 participants. Speakers Andy Lambert (Mega I) and Duffy Robbins (Mega II), along with the band Providence, will lead youth in worship.

The retreats also include tours of the World Methodist Museum and the Heritage Center Museum, which are housed at the Lake Junaluska conference grounds and offer the largest exhibits in the world chronicling Wesleyan history.

The cost is $60 per person for the regular weekend and $65 per person for the MEGA weekend.
Costs include all program materials and t-shirts. Housing arrangements are made separately through the conference center at 800-222-4930. Rates per person are $94 at the Terrace Hotel or Lakeside Lodge and $84 at Junaluska Apartments and include two nights lodging and four meals. A housing deposit of $35 per person is required to secure housing.

Program information is available by calling 800-482-1442. A brochure with registration information is now available at


News media contact: Tita Parham, 800-282-8011,, Orlando

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Fils-Aime is gleaning coordinator at Christians Reaching Out to Society Inc. (C.R.O.S. Ministries) in Lake Worth, Fla.
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service in Lakeland, Fla.
   Pancoast is program manager at Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp in Fruitland Park, Fla.
   Tashman is Mountain T.O.P. program manager for recruiting and public awareness.